10 Value Plays at Tight End

The Footballguys staff finds value at the tight end position

A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. There is value available throughout a draft, and grabbing it is one of the most important keys to a successful fantasy team. In an attempt to point out this value, we asked our staff to look through the Top 150 and identify players that should outperform their draft position.

Players Receiving 4 Votes

Mark Andrews, Baltimore

Phil Alexander: Andrews heads up a tier of intriguing second-year tight ends whose main obstacle to fantasy TE1 status is playing time. But whereas fellow explosive sophomores, Dallas Goedert and Ian Thomas, are stuck behind veteran stars on teams that also have established wide receivers, Andrews has a puncher’s chance to be Baltimore's most-heavily targeted pass-catcher -- even while sharing snaps with Hayden Hurst and Nick Boyle. Andrews accounted for a team-leading 26% of Baltimore’s receiving yards after Lamar Jackson took over for Joe Flacco last year. Most impressively, his yards per target increased from 8.4 with Flacco at quarterback to 12.1 under Jackson. For context, Rob Gronkowski averaged 9.3 yards per target as a rookie and Travis Kelce averaged 10.4 in his first season. Any step forward from Jackson as a passer, or another injury to Hurst, would propel Andrews into the second-tier of fantasy tight ends.

Ryan Hester: Baltimore will run early and often, but Andrews is still the best pass-catching tight end on a team projected to start either two rookie wide receivers or one rookie and Willie Snead IV. Aside from the opportunity angle, Andrews is a great athlete who created mismatches all over the field in college and made some big plays last season for Baltimore. Andrews and Lamar Jackson have continued last year’s chemistry and turned it into plenty of touchdowns in camp this summer. He’s worth a late-round add.

Justin Howe: A slot specialist who rarely plays on the line, Andrews brings field-stretching speed and soft hands to a Baltimore passing game still searching for consistency. Down the 2018 stretch, Andrews caught 13 of his 18 targets from Lamar Jackson, including game-breakers of 74 and 68 yards. The Ravens spent heavily in the draft on deep-ball speedsters, and Andrews is far more talented in the slots and seams than Willie Snead IV or Chris Moore. Volume will always be scarce, and Andrews might be a year or two from his true breakout potential. But it wouldn’t be odd to see him carve out a weekly role of 4-5 impact targets, as few tight ends in the back halves of drafts boast his athletic upside. Andrews fits in better as a TE2 than several of the retreads currently going before him.

Dwain McFarland: Andrews will be in a committee situation much like every other skill position outside of quarterback for the Ravens. It is what they do. This offense will also likely be at the bottom of the league when it comes to pass attempts. So, how does Andrews land on this list? There are two reasons. First, he has a rapport with Lamar Jackson, especially near the end zone. Second, we have seen what Greg Roman can do with two tight ends in a run-heavy offense from his days with San Francisco with Delanie Walker and Vernon Davis. Walker operated more as the blocker (Hayden Hurst) and Davis was the seam stretcher (Andrews). From 2011 to 2014 with Roman, Davis eclipsed 19% of the targets in two of four seasons. At current ADP Andrews carries more upside than many people think.

Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh

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